Woman Shows Parents Her 17 Secret Tattoos After Hiding Them for Over a Decade (VIDEO)

hidden tattoo womanMeet Maggie. Maggie has been getting tattooed for 12 years -- she has 17 of them, but when she's fully clothed with long pants, you can't see any (a ring covers one on her finger). She hides them from her parents, Linda and Randy, who live a state away and who are (as Maggie says) conservative Christians. Maggie made a video with This American Life and enlisted the help of a minister to tell her parents that she has tattoos. The result shocked her.


I've heard of hiding tattoos from potential employers (I've done that on interviews, but once hired, there is no hiding anymore). But parents? Seems exhausting -- and long pants all summer? Seems like suffering too much for the "art" and not in a good way. But that's what Maggie has been doing to protect her relationship with her parents, which seems like it needs a whole lot of work anyway.

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Maggie thinks her parents won't understand her, but as I learned from watching this, she doesn't understand her parents either.

I can see the pain in Maggie's eyes when she speaks of this secret she has, and how she feels that distance between her and her mom and dad. That massive tattoo on her side in their honor is beautiful -- she clearly loves them, and craves their love, but something has happened along the way where they just don't get each other.

This happens far too much in families. I am so happy Maggie made this video to see the truth. Thanksgiving is going to be so much better this year!

Everything she thought was wrong. Her fears were unfounded. Her parents love her and they even have the grace that she thought they lacked. One thing that really struck me is how Maggie said that when she was a kid, she told her parents that God wants her to be happy. To which her parents replied (according to Maggie) that no, God doesn't want you to be happy; God wants you to obey him. This is what Maggie thinks her parents want for her -- they don't want her to be happy, they want her to obey. But the truth is that happiness is all they ever wanted, and that that "obey" part must have gotten misconstrued in a young child's mind. It's incredible what we remember -- or think we remember -- and what is really true.

I have a body full of tattoos, and many years ago when I got my first one, I was afraid to tell my parents, too. They aren't conservative Christians -- they were just ... my parents who once forbade me from driving in cars with boys. Tattoos seemed like exactly the opposite of what they wanted for me, especially in ancient times when I was young and tattoos weren't so accepted as they are today. My dad saw my Eye of Horus tattoo on my ankle and said with an urgency, "There's something on your leg!" followed with a smile. It made me think there was a bug on me (terrified of bugs!) and we both had a good laugh.

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What I learned from watching Maggie's story -- and what has been confirmed once again -- is that we should never hide our true selves. When doing so, you are not only hurting those who love you, you are preventing a real relationship with those people. You are also hurting yourself. Maggie learned that. She was missing out on a true relationship with her parents because she was in hiding. All because of tattoos! Beautiful, meaningful, fun tattoos. People will love you for who you are -- at least they should. If they don't, then maybe they need to do some of their own soul-searching and truth-seeking in order to be who they really are. There are other people out there with the same love in their hearts -- find your tribe.

Let's hope my kids see this. I love you no matter what. Tell Mama everything, okay? Fingers crossed they do.


Image via This American Life/YouTube

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